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Old 27-07-2008, 15:58   #1
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Making a living while crusing

It is possible and it's not even that difficult. I spent 15 yrs in the Caribbean and am now in the Pacific. I'm an electrician and I've picked up refrigeration, watermakers, generators etc. I've always been a good mechanic from years of restoring old British sports cars. Now I'm in Pago Pago working in a tuna cannery. I figure I work somewhere between 40 - 50% of the time and right now my minimum wage is $20/hr clear, not a princely sum but enough to keep the cruising kitty showing signs of life. I've worked directly for other cruisiers but prefer to work for service companies (of which there are none here, hence the tuna cannery) The Caribe was loaded with work opportunities, heaps of boats and the average cruiser is less knowledgable now then in '92 when I started out from Canada. On the other hand boats are MUCH more dependable than they used to be. In response to another post I don't believe electronics are a viable option these days, they're usually unrepairable unless you have the diagnostic gear and the appropriate board, wave soldered boards are usually not repairable. Canvas work is possible, Iused to do auto seats and have an industrial machine aboard, but no one will pay you $20/hr for sewing it's too competitive, there's simply too many people who can and do. Hope this is some help. Having a marketable set of skills is the key and finding work isn't too tough. In the 3rd world the orgizational skills often don't exist and supervisory jobs are often available. Good luck to all the struggling crusers out there. Fair winds. George
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Old 27-07-2008, 16:46   #2
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George,

Great post, as this is a topic of real interest on the Forum!

One of the issues brought up in previous discussions is, "what about work visas?" If you are a non-national, you technically need government approval to have a "real" job. Was that an issue for you in the Caribbean? Of course, American citizens can work in the USVI, but what about the other islands?
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Old 27-07-2008, 19:29   #3
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I never had too much trouble with work visas, only 2 in 16 yrs, this being the 2nd. But it is definitely getting harder. All governments are becoming more vigilant about lost tax revenues. I think it really depends on what you're doing an office job would necessitate a visa whereas a boat job would probably slide. St Marteen in 96 was a snap now it's impossible even for boat techs. S Fl on the other hand is easy to work under the table. good luck all. George
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Old 06-08-2008, 14:35   #4
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thanks for posting

Sounds like some good ideas to make due in a scrape or fulltime for people who are considering making it a life. I've been pondering if it's possible to try and sell luxury goods to the richies out cruising in remote places. Stuff like caviar, foie gras, etc.
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Old 06-08-2008, 15:11   #5
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I don't know about flogging stuff to the rich, to a large degree when cruising the 3rd world we're all rich. Plus inside the cruising community the game seems to be to live cheap, even the folk you know are loaded are trying desperately to live like paupers. OK, that's a generalization and heaps of exceptions will exist. But nonetherless most yachties are avoiding the trappings of wealth, once you overlook the megabuck yacht. It's like a weird game, one where I don't understand the rules. Good luck though, George
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Old 06-08-2008, 15:15   #6
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But nonetherless most yachties are avoiding the trappings of wealth, once you overlook the megabuck yacht. It's like a weird game, one where I don't understand the rules. Good luck though, George
George,

You're very right. Cruising is one of the few pastimes where Oyster people mix with Grampian people, they even look alike - faded clothes and bad haircuts.
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Old 06-08-2008, 16:14   #7
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I'm putting together my first open ocean cruiser. This subject has been on the front burner for me lately.

Likely my high scores in Pac Man back in the nineteen eighties will come into the foreground as a key job skill finally. Right?
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Old 06-08-2008, 16:35   #8
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HAY, watch the “bad haircut” talk!!!
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Old 06-08-2008, 16:49   #9
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Rick,

Talking about haircuts, my young barber who is just an outstanding professional wants to get a small boat to sail the caribbean and do haircuts on his boat...I just dont know if he will be able to make a living

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Old 18-08-2008, 20:15   #10
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As a Canadian massage therapist (not RMT but 10yrs experience, also acupuncture), would love to hear more insight in how to top up the 'kitty' whilst going RTW and potentially having longer stays in certain areas - I've lived in Australia for many years and know how challenging it is to get work visas there once you've used up your working holiday!

Cheers!
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Old 19-08-2008, 12:04   #11
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GE,

Great post. I took a small 110 welder with me to Mexico. When I was in a marina there was always some odd repair needed. I have also seen people like yourself keeping the cruise going in just the way you describe.
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Old 12-09-2008, 19:00   #12
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As a Canadian massage therapist (not RMT but 10yrs experience, also acupuncture), would love to hear more insight in how to top up the 'kitty' whilst going RTW and potentially having longer stays in certain areas - I've lived in Australia for many years and know how challenging it is to get work visas there once you've used up your working holiday!

Cheers!
Well now, there you go. My wife and I are also massage therapist. Had our own ofice for some years. We still have our tables and have considered doing massage while traveling the world.
We have worked in Sports Massage/therapy, Myofascial Massage as well as a few Holistic mediums.
Anyone think there is a market for someone who can fix sore aching muscles/muscle injuries/migraines/sprained backs,etc?
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Old 12-09-2008, 20:24   #13
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Let's see now, Outboard Repair, Inflateable boat service, Electronics technician, Watermaker technician, Diesel mechanic, Linear Polyurethane painter, skilled woodworker, skilled fiberglass worker, translator/computer technican, as well as the physical therapy angle, it seems that there are a great variety of skills that are needed in an anchorage, village or port environment. If the need is great enough, the bureaucrats are going to be your first customers.
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